happy leap day!

the last time this day came, i got hired at camp for the first time, and i cut my hair for locks of love(i did that in 2004 and 2008, and planned on doing it again this year, but my hair wasn’t long enough).
but for a day that comes once every four years, i didn’t do anything particularly extraordinary today(although for me, going and promoting camp is the best way to celebrate any day!). in 2016 i’m gonna either skydive or bungee jump to celebrate; i figure anything to do with leaping off of or out of something is fair game.
one of my friends’ facebook statuses today said “i wonder what my life will be like the next time this day rolls around.”
that’s a good thought. most people say “how do you see yourself in the next ten years?” but really, leap day is a good milestone to base off of.
what was i like on the last february 29th?
well, i was in eleventh grade, loving my life, i had the best church and the best friends, i hated school, and i never wanted to go to college. i was gonna go to new york film academy and become either a director or a screenwriter. and i was looking forward to seeing if i would love camp as much as i expected.
now?
i’m not only in college, but to make it even crazier i’m at the school i swore my whole life i would never ever go to. my friends are gone, even though they’re still my friends. my church fell apart; but thankfully God just gave me an awesome new one. nothing is like i would have imagined, had i thought to wonder what the next leap year would look like. except that i still have camp; that part i hope is true the rest of my life.
four years from now?
i really hope i’m out of college by then. at the moment i have no idea when i’m graduating.
i honestly want to still be at camp. if they ever open a position of “full-time publicist” where i can work there in the summer, and then during the year i’ll go to churches and get them psyched for camp, i have dibs on it; maybe in four years they’ll have one of those. =]
i’d better be married. seriously. i’ll be almost 25.
and more than anything, i really hope i have a little more direction in my life by then. a lot can happen in four years. if nothing happens in four years, that’ll be a big waste of my life. i want to have done something big for God by then. right now i’ve done hardly nothing.
so if nothing else, that had better be fixed. i want to live a much more purposeful four years than these past four have been.

rainy days at ridge haven…

piggybacking off what i just posted about rain, these are some of my favorite times on retreats that happened when it was raining.

this was in 2010. my favorite retreat ever, even though  because  it rained every single second. and i really miss jumping in the cold lake.

also 2010. this was when we hiked in the woods for almost three hours. the time i slid like ten feet down that hill, and when we walked like a mile straight up that HUGE hill to get back, and we hopped over all those rocks, and we saw that deer, and it was the best saturday afternoon we ever had there.

2010. beth’s windshield wipers broke. and the whole time that we were looking for a place to pull of and fix them, wayne had out his video camera and was narrating everything. i miss him so much.

2008, my first time and my second favorite. i actually can’t remember if it was raining, but this was so much fun, i had to post it.

2008. me and jonathan were the best dutch blitz partners ever. and then connor was scared to play with me because he said i would yell at him if he didn’t play fast enough.

my first shaving cream fight!!

these two were from last year. that was the only year that it’s rained for real the entire time. like from the minute we got there to our driving away on sunday. every other year it’s been nice and sunny on sunday morning(figures, right when we’re fixing to leave) but this time it never let up.
back to the pictures. we had been playing frisbee for over an hour in the POURING rain and there was so much mud, and we got so soaked and dirty and then we walked all the way back to the house from the field. this is when i learned to never wear a hoodie when i’m gonna get soaking wet, no matter how cold it is, because it gets really heavy and super uncomfortable.

whether it rains or not…WE HAVE ONE WEEK. =D

things associated with rain.

1. ridge haven.
it always always always rains there. except my senior year when i got the flu, and wished it were raining so the lodge wouldn’t be so lonely while i froze to death in my bed.

2. golf carts.
camp 2008. if i told you the story, a certain someone who loves me but never jokes about stuff like this, would kill me.

3. this list was much longer in my head yesterday before i started looking at old ridge haven pictures…

just know that wherever you are…

i miss you, and i wish you were here.

i hate missing people. it makes me feel like i’m mad at them even though i’m totally not. i’m SO happy that they’re off doing big things. people are supposed to do that when they grow up.
and i want to be happy right now. i feel like a homesick camper, and homesick campers, bless their hearts, are dumb. (they’re too young to realize it so it’s okay for them, i’m not trying to sound heartless ;] ) we both have something big and fun going on around us(i have soccer and they have camp), but both of us can’t seem to get ourselves focused on the bigger thing.
ps, a few disclaimers: i’m not trying to throw a pity party. i know it’s okay to miss people. i know it’s not like they’re dead. and i know that people are supposed to grow up and leave and everything. i’m really okay…i’m just sad for now.

philosophy, please go away.

-i do not like the original version of “bruised” by jack’s mannequin. i think it’s because i heard the acoustic version first, and listened to it for years before discovering that any other version existed.
-which came first, something corporate or jack’s mannequin? i can never keep that straight.
-i am a big something corporate fan. i heard them first, have all their albums, know most of their songs and like them better.
-but i just downloaded more jack’s mannequin, because i’ve liked everything i’ve heard by them(read: like three songs). it probably deserves a chance.
-i first discovered “bruised” on my friend meghan’s myspace. in 2007ish. when project playlist was the thing to have. that was a really really long time ago…
-it has 42 plays on my itunes. but it’s really more than that because all my music got wiped freshman year, and before that i had spent a lot of hours listening to it on repeat…
-i tend to be obsessive when i find a song i like.
-the number one on my top 25 most played in my itunes has 145 plays. the first 90 or so were in a week’s time. not kidding.
-unlike the other 24 songs, i am still not tired of that one.
-i just decided i can’t tell the difference between the two bands. except that i know all the something corporate ones…but did i not know that jack’s mannequin existed, and you played one of their songs, i would be shocked and wonder how something corporate had a song i had never heard.
-as sick as i am of postmodernism…i really do need to finish reading about it now.

what dreams are made of.

i wish there was a whole course just about how dreams work. or what they show about your personality.

for instance. i have a few dreams that i’ve had on a pretty regular basis for as long as i can remember.
1. the one where i’m on a roller coaster or some kind of ride. maybe i just start the dream on it, or sometimes i actually realize that i’m getting on it. usually i’m having fun, but sometimes i didn’t want to be there in the first place. no matter how it starts, something goes wrong when we’re high up in the air(maybe the track breaks, or my seatbelt disappears, or the ride gets stuck and i for some reason start climbing on the track itself and get run over by the next train). sometimes there are other people on it with me, or sometimes the park is deserted(and in that case i realize in the middle that no one is there to stop the ride so i wriggle out of the seatbelt, jump off and either 1)wake up right before i splatter on the ground, or 2)whatever guy i’ve most recently thought about catches me). this is my most common and oldest recurring dream, the first time i remember having is when i was six and we had just gone to king’s dominion that day(that’s virginia’s version of carowinds, if anyone didn’t know).
2. then there’s the one where i’m in a big, complicated house(or another kind of building but usually a house), like with a lot of stairs and floors. there’s always more than one way to get anywhere, and ways to go in laps around it. in real life i love exploring houses i’ve never been in, so of course my dream self is going to town with all these hundreds of stairs and turns, but then one of two things happens. 1)i get lost in the house, and start panicking more and more until i’m just running around screaming until i wake up, or 2)someone starts chasing me. it can be anybody, sometimes it’ll be someone i normally like in real life but i’ll be scared of them for some reason(maybe it’ll be leighanne with glass stuck in her face, or jamie with a snake, or my mom with no hair, or a camper i have bad memories of) but usually it’ll be someone it would be normal to run from(like a clown or an army of mannequins). i run and run, and sometimes i’ll laugh because i know the house and the chasing person doesn’t, or sometimes i’ll get scared and forget how to get around. one way or another i get to screaming like in the other version. usually we get to one of those places where you can make a circle(like with two staircases going into one room) and i get caught going around it. i always wake up before it ends, except for one time when it transitioned into the next dream.

then i also have flashback dreams of bad things that have happened. as in, the exact events play out just like they did, i see and hear the same things and feel the same emotions. things such as,
-the night britnie left
-when beth left
-when my grandpa died
-the day i found out that the guy i was in love with from seventh through tenth grade was getting married
you get the point. i’m afraid of losing people.

and sometimes, i just dream about talking to people. i can never remember any details when i wake up, and nothing special happens. i just have a really good conversation with someone(usually someone i wish i talked to more; it’s rarely someone like scott or leighanne or someone else that i’m really close with in real life) and then i wake up and get sad because it wasn’t real.

it’s a symptom of ADD to have dreams where instead of being inside yourself(you know, seeing things from your point of view like you would in real life), you watch yourself and everything happening to you in the dream. that’s how almost all of my dreams are, and have been my whole life. sometimes, i’ll have a dream like that, within another dream where i “wake up” and am then inside myself so it feels real since i woke up. when i wake up in real life, i’m always either really scared or really angry, because the dream felt so real that i don’t know what’s going on now. i’m always inside myself for my worst dreams. as if the subject matter weren’t bad enough, you add in an extra bit of real-life-feel and you get what i call a nightmare squared.

ever since i started taking melatonin about two weeks ago, i’ve had even weirder dreams(it’s a common side effect), and since i’m sleeping more deeply and not waking up 3 times during the night, they last longer, and i’m always inside myself so they feel twice as real. i don’t like it.

so. what prompted this whole long thought process?
well. last night, i had a dream within a dream where i was outside myself, watching everything happen, and i can’t remember what it was about anymore but i know it was weird and i was thinking “this must be a dream. this is too weird.” then i “woke up”, in my bed at school, and now i was inside myself, so that plus waking up in my bed made me really legitly think i was awake. i went to check my mail(as if i would do that first thing in the morning?), and this guy who will remain nameless is down there and asks me to help him with something. he shows me how to pull the numbers off the mailboxes, and says we’re gonna switch them all around so no one will know where their box is. now despite how unlike real life this is(usually in any dream i have some point where i just kind of know that it’s a dream but keep going), i get all excited and we get to work, and once everything is mixed up, we turn around, and a whole stampede of students and two security guys are running our way yelling at us, and i freak out and tell him “we have to put everything back before they find us!!!!!!!” but he says no we worked too hard and how are we supposed to put alllll those numbers back because not even we know where they all go.
now everything gets crazy but i still think it’s real. i start crying and hitting him and telling him how stupid he is, then i run away. outside i run into someone who i try my best to avoid, and they start trying to get me to take these flyers for some stupid event they’re leading, so i hit that person too. i run up the steps and meet alex at the top, who is also handing out the same flyers. i get even more mad at her since she also doesn’t like that person, so i start yelling and smacking the crap out of her, i run back to our room and get in my bed, and then i wake up in real life.
what’s funny(as if the whole dream itself isn’t funny enough?) is that what woke me up was alex in real life sleepwalking down from her bed, and her and jamie loudly carrying on a conversation about whether she’s awake. when i’m half awake like this, and disoriented about reality, i get totally irrational thoughts in my head, and i just got so real-life angry at both of them, first because they woke me up, second because i had REALLY loved that dream(before i started yelling at everyone) and i hated finding out it wasn’t real, and third, mostly, because they were so LOUD and it was 4:08 and i wanted to freaking SLEEP. i start contemplating whether i should say mean things to them or just throw my teddy bear at them, and i got so annoyed with myself over the fact that they’re STILL talking and i am still not doing anything about it.
i fell asleep again while i was arguing with myself, and before jamie or alex went back to bed.
when i woke up for real, at 7ish, finally fully in tune with reality, i was talking to them about this, first confirming that i hadn’t dreamed the part about alex sleepwalking(i mean, my other dreams had felt so real, that part may well have not happened either). after i told them about how hilariously mad i had gotten, they asked what i had dreamed that i hadn’t wanted to be woken up from, and when i told them, alex pointed out “it seems like you’re always getting mad and hitting people in your dreams. i think you have a lot of pent up anger.” and jamie notes that i’m always running or getting chased by something.
that does make sense. i am very blunt in my dreams. i dream a lot about telling people things i don’t tell them in real life(for instance, that person i avoid, i would LOVE to yell at them and tell them a few thing…but that would be really really mean, so i don’t. and the mailbox-switching guy, i’d probably love it if i got the chance to do something borderline-crazy like that with him in real life[probably not screwing up the post office though…] he’s fun. plus it might put me on the map)
so, all this to say: if i look real carefully, i learn the following about myself.
1. i wish i were brave.
2. there are a lot of things i wish i could say to people, but hold back.
3. i run from confrontation.
4. i’m very confused about where i’m going. in life, but also literally, physically, in any new place i happen to encounter.
5. i’m hiding from a lot of things.
6. i am a very lonely person.
7. mannequins are evil.

little waves from God.

when little things happen that make me smile or think, i imagine it’s God waving at me from across a room full of people. you know, like He’s saying, oh hey, i know your life is going great, but remember how much i love you? (they don’t count if i ask for them. they have to be unexpected. and they’re best when i’m already having a good day[actually that’s when they come most often] then it gets even better)

1. i was having one of my many “omg i need a hug NOW” meltdown moments at the end of last semester, and in the time it took to walk from my mailbox to my room(which isn’t that long, you know how fast i walk), i just happened to run into three different people who all decided to give me one.
2. earlier today, i was running late for work, i didn’t have time to put makeup on, my hair was a mess and i had on my laundry day jeans(and by that i mean my old ratty ones that i only wear when all my other pairs are in the wash). so i was completely taken by surprise when my friend came up to me and said “you look really pretty today.”
3. dr. olshine remembered my name at lunch today. i’m beginning to think that it’s a requirement for youth min professors to be good with names(dr. grant is too).
4. since i was at home all weekend and couldn’t get back until yesterday morning, i hadn’t done my philosophy reading(me and jamie and alex all share the book; i couldn’t really take it away from them for three days). i glanced over the chapter for the twenty minutes i had before class, and gentry proceeded to give us the easiest quiz in history, on all the things i happened to have taken notes on.

she knows who she is.

i cut out a line here and there(i mean, she didn’t show me how to be a man…keeping that in there just looks wrong. haha). my apologies to good charlotte.

sittin here and thinkin back, doing time when i was young
my memories good as day
all the time we’d laugh with you and all the time that you stay true to us, and i will say

said i thank you, i’ll always thank you
more than you would know, then i could ever show,
and i’ll love you, i’ll always love you,¬†
there’s nothing i won’t do to say these words to you
that you will live forever and ever.

you were my mom, you were my dad, the only one i ever had was you
even when the time got hard, you were there to let us know when we got through
you taught me how to understand the things people do
you showed me how to love my God
you told me that not everyone knows the truth

i miss you.

christians and hot dogs.

i hate hot dogs. they look disgusting, most of them smell weird, the texture is totally sketch, and the idea of eating ground up, random animal parts and creepy chemicals just makes me feel like throwing up. from the taste to the weird color, everything about them is just repulsive in every possible way.
plus most of them are made from pigs, and i don’t eat pigs because that’s just gross.
my mom hates them for all the same reasons(except the last one. she never saw sherlock holmes, so she doesn’t have an aversion to pork). now and then though, she’ll get the ones that are supposedly kosher, have no weird stuff in them and are made from real meat and no pigs. and that’s just what she did for dinner tonight…but she wrapped them up in pretzel dough and made them look so good that i couldn’t help but eat one. and while they tasted just the same, at least the pretzel part was delicious. =)

the point: most of the time, i still can’t eat those even though they’re different from the nasty ones. they look and taste the same as all the others, no matter how much they claim to be better.

isn’t that the same way a lot of people see christians?

they see us as hypocrites, judgmental, close minded, insert other common stereotype here. we’re all the same to them. they get it in their head that just because they’ve met a lot who are like that, none of us can be different from the others.
but at least in the case of christians, it is possible, with a lot of prayer and patience, to convince them that there are legit christians out there.
whereas i will never be able to eat any hot dog, no matter how “kosher” they are, without feeling sick for hours afterwards. they will always all be the same to me. =p
just a thought.

handouts.

my opinion on the dad-shoots-his-disgusting-entitled-daughter’s-computer deal.
i may be biased because i wasn’t spoiled as a kid; if i was i’d probably be one of the ones overreacting and saying he’s an awful person.
my parents gave me everything i needed. by “needed” i mean i had food and clothes and a place to live and a ride to church on sundays. everything else, i saved my money and got for myself. if my friends were going to moe’s after church, i didn’t go to my mom and ask for money, i paid for it myself. i didn’t have a cell phone until i went to college(i agree that it’s good to have one once you start driving by yourself, but there’s no reason in the world a 13 year old should need one). i didn’t have my own tv or computer when i was a kid(those i probably wouldn’t have been allowed to have even if i’d wanted to save my own money).
and i’m not bashing them over facebook for that. or anywhere, since they were being totally fair.
this girl also seems to have everything she needs, plus even more apparently if her parents let her have her own laptop and keep replacing her phone. yet somehow she feels she has the right to complain about having to spend ten minutes a day doing chores, and thinks her parents are wrong to suggest that she get a job? (i really want to know how she ended up such a spoiled brat when her parents sound like they don’t spoil her at all)
kids today are such a mess because they don’t have to deal with consequences for anything. their parents threaten but don’t follow through. so, under any other circumstances, i would say that this guy was batjunkcrazy for actually shooting the computer(and totally wasting his money, he could have at least sold it), but since that’s what he said he would do, i applaud him for going through with it. it’s not that he just got angry and took it out on the laptop, he was just doing what he warned her would happen.
and i really really respect him for refusing to do any interviews or let his daughter go on the news, his reason being that she shouldn’t get attention for doing something wrong. i agree. (it’s like how the bedroom intruder guy shouldn’t be famous for something traumatic happening to his sister. do you think she enjoys being reminded of that all the time?)
but, the worst of it all is that thanks to the people who do think he’s a terrible father, DSS is asking to interview the daughter because they think her dad is emotionally abusing her. that makes me sick. one of my sweet campers(who will remain nameless) who i worry about every day is living in a house where no one loves her, but because she isn’t being physically abused or deprived of any basic needs, no one will do anything about it. yet this girl, whose parents obviously love her if they care enough to discipline her, is getting the “help” that my camper actually deserves. i’m so mad at the whole system right now.
anyways, all this to say: kudos to one of the few parents left in america who isn’t afraid to teach his kid right and wrong and how the real world works.